1. How to Organize Your Home Workout Space

    organize2
    If you workout at home a few days a week, then, one of the most important factors is your home workout space.

    If it is inviting and well thought out, you will be more likely to use it. But if the area is unattractive and uncomfortable to use, you may find yourself avoiding it and therefore avoiding your workouts.

    Use the following tips to create and organize a workout area that is user-friendly and encourages fitness:

    1.  Space.  Be sure that the area where you choose to workout is spacious enough for you to perform your exercises.  If you use a cramped area in which you have to rearrange items every time you switch to a different exercise, you will probably become frustrated.
    1.  Lighting.  Bright lights help us to feel energized while dim lights can bring about feelings of drowsiness.  While you are working out, you need all the energy-producing light you can manage.  Open the curtains wide if there are windows in your workout room.  If there are no windows, consider installing a full-spectrum light.  These lights mimic the spectrum of the light of the sun and will help energize you.
    1.  Music.  Anyone who has exercised with music knows how just the right songs can help increase and maintain more intensity in the workout than without music.  Make sure that your fitness area has a way for you to play music as you exercise.  You can even purchase a little speaker to hook into your iPod or MP3 player.  It does not have to be an elaborate system; just something that will play music loudly enough for you to hear it while you work out.
    1. Cleanliness.  Is your workout space damp and smelly?  Is it full of clutter and unwanted items from the rest of the house?  It is a mistake to let your fitness area be the catch-all room for the whole family.

    If your room is in a musty corner of the basement or if it doubles as a storage closet, you will not enjoy the time you spend there, and therefore you will be less likely to be consistent with your workouts.  Either clean the room up or pick a different area.

    Your fitness and health are important and need to be treated as such.  Making your workout space a top priority will go a long way toward helping you reach your fitness goals, because you will be more likely to use it if you find it inviting and a pleasure to use.

     


  2. No More Excuses!

    02_No_More_Excuses
    People who don’t work out always have a reason why.  But except for a very few people who truly cannot exercise, these reasons are thin excuses.

    Working out is hard.  It takes time, energy and sometimes gut-wrenching motivation and will power.  Some days it is easy, but many days it is not.  Fit people work out when they do not want to.   And, they work out when they do not feel like it.  They have excuses not to work out too, but they look at those excuses and walk right over them on their way to the fitness room.

    Let’s look at a few common excuses for not working out and diffuse them.

    1.  I do not have the time.  This is probably the number one excuse that people give for not exercising.  It is true that we are busy.  Nearly all of us have more to do every day than we can possibly get done.  But why do some busy people find the time to exercise and other busy people do not?  It is a matter of priority.  There are people who are very, very busy who nevertheless find the time to take care of their health.

    It is important to realize that you will have to take the time to care for your health at some point.  You can put the time in now by working out and preserving your strength and health, or you can put the time in later, when you will have to clear your schedule for multiple doctors’ visits and medical procedures.

    Lack of exercise is one of the most significant reasons why people become ill with chronic diseases.  So it is not a matter of if you take time to take care of your health; it is a matter of when:  NOW or LATER!  The choice is yours.

    1.  It is not the right time.  This is a very deceptive excuse, because it will never be the right time.  There will always be reasons why it is inconvenient to workout.  You will always be too busy, too stressed, too tired, to distracted, too bored or too overweight.  Tomorrow never comes when you are waiting for the perfect tomorrow to start working out.  Start today; don’t wait for tomorrow.
    1.  I don’t have the energy.  When you are not used to working out, you will not have much energy to bring to the table when you begin exercising.  But putting off your fitness plans will not magically make more energy appear.  The way to get energy is to expend it.  Once you begin working out, you will steadily have more energy as your aerobic base increases and your muscle mass grows.

    It’s time to get rid of the excuses and get fit!

     

    Yours in Health and Fitness,

    Lisa G. Wright,

     


  3. Commitment


    Downloadable Mp3 File

    The missing component is commitment.

    I’m on my way back to Corpus Christi from a quick visit to Austin, to see my husband and my daughter and her family.

    It’s January the 18th and, I have yet to write a newsletter this year because, after all these years in the fitness industry I just feel at a loss for … how to motivate people. But … I stopped in to a Stripes to pick up a bottle of water and there was a conversation going on behind the counter regarding which is better, to run outside or to run on a treadmill? The cashier was engaging each customer as I was waited in line and (giggling) sure enough when it came to me … he just kept rambling about “you know,” his wife just bought a treadmill and sure enough she used it for 2 months and then it sat in his kitchen and never got used again for 2 years.

    and… I suspect that’s true and I suspect that had she run outside for two weeks and stopped running for the next 2 years that also would have been true. Except, outside and not running isn’t in your face like a treadmill sitting in your kitchen not being used. So, he asked me and I said, “The missing component is commitment” and he said “What, what did you say?” … I said “The missing component is commitment.”

    If a person is committed it’s really not about the treadmill or not about running outside, it’s about being committed to your exercise. He seemed surprised by that and he said, “WOW, that’s the truth.” … and it IS the truth and it’s hard. Commitment is hard. Whether it takes 21 days to change a habit or … uh…  seeing a therapist (hahaha). Oh, I don’t know, I’ve worked with people for ages and I work with them for 2 years and all of a sudden they’re committed. They make leaps and bounds and they really do change their body and whether it is commitment to mental health … your physical health or your spiritual health, to me it is still about commitment. Sometimes, it’s just about admitting powerlessness; that you just cannot do it on your own and that you have to let go. You have to be mindful and prayerful about letting a Power greater than yourself help you do for you what you cannot do for yourself.

    So, whether you’re taking care of your mental, physical or spiritual wellbeing this year in 2015 or all 3 and just seeking balance. I think it’s about commitment and, maybe it’s about committing to the fact that you just can’t do it without help.

    ….and, so…

    I heard on the radio, also, that a great New Year’s Resolution is just one word…how about just one word? The girl that was the radio DJ said her one word was “mindfulness” and I thought that’s a good one word or prayerfulness or what about commitment?

    Anyway, may your 2015 be filled with that one word that you can be aware of every day. One word that can keep you on track whether it’s eating right, sleeping right, working right, being right, I don’t even know … or just discovering what is right for you and Your Personal Best.

    Yours in Health and Fitness,

    Lisa Wright


  4. Push up Your Technique

    The push up is one of the easiest exercises to do anywhere you go.  The great thing about it is that anyone can do a push up and all you need is your body in order to do the exercise.  This blog is about learning the proper technique on how to do a push up and how improper technique can lead to injury and weaken the effectiveness of the exercise.

    Muscles at Work!

    Since a push up requires multiple joints to be used, it will take more than one muscle to execute the exercise properly.  Pushups are known to work the chest, triceps, and shoulders but require much more than that for proper technique.  Your abdominals and glutes are important in the exercise because they help stabilize and align your upper body with your lower body.

    Improper Technique

    Whether you are doing pushups from your knees or from your toes, it is very important to stay in alignment to avoid injuring your low back or shoulders.  One of the more common mistakes that people make is having their butt too high in the air or too low.  This will significantly reduce the effectiveness of the exercise and may lead to injury.  Two other bad techniques are arching your upper back or having your head in the wrong placement.  Both of these techniques will cause tension on a person’s neck and ultimately affect someone’s posture.  The last improper technique, which can easily be adjusted, is having the elbows out too wide.  This will cause the head of the humerus to nudge up against the clavicle and cause a sharp pain or discomfort.  A great fix for this is to just bring in the elbows.

    improper technique 1 improper technique 2

     

     

     

     

     

    Proper Technique

    Proper pushup technique will start from the head all the way through the legs.  You must first start off by having a straight head and neck position so that you do not get any neck pain.  Next, your shoulders should be back and stable while your hands should be slightly wider than shoulder width apart, and at chest level.  Your hips and torso should also be straight by keeping your core and glutes in tightly engaged.  Once you are in the start position, lower your body until your arms are at 90° so that you can avoid injury to your shoulders.  Now you can go lower that 90° but it all depends on whether or not your shoulders are healthy enough to handle that type of range of motion.  Whether you are doing pushups from your knees or from your toes you should always get a full range of motion and at a controlled tempo.  Doing a push up too fast can cause you to lose technique and not engage all of your muscles properly.


  5. The Tennis Ball Workout For Range Of Motion

    Fascia and Fascia Release

    Fascia 1Fascia is a connective tissue that surrounds muscles, blood vessels, nerves and organs.  Fascia binds these structures together and allows for them to slide smoothly over one another.  If the fascia surrounding the muscles is tight or dry, it will affect a person’s flexibility and even cause injury.

    When a person is experiencing pain in a certain area of the body, it usually means that your body is compensating in one way or another which will lead to pain.  Fascia release is tissue therapy of skeletal muscle immobility and pain.  The therapy aims to relax contracted muscles, improve blood circulation, and stimulate the stretch reflex in muscles.  In essence, it gives you better flexibility and range of motion to move throughout the day or to try and engage more muscles just before your workout.  The better range of motion a person has, the less compensating the body will do, the less pain you will have!

    Do I Need Fascia Release?

    Yes, fascia release is recommended for everyone except people who are hypermobile, but highly recommended for people who have tightness throughout the body.  If you go throughout your day with movement like getting in or out of a chair, bending over to pick up the paper, tie your shoes, or even using the bathroom then yes you need fascia release to avoid injury.

    When is the best time to do this?

    Since mobility and flexibility is important in our everyday lives, you should use fascia release every day in order to avoid injury.  This is especially true right before a workout.  Since fascia release improves your flexibility and range of motion, doing it as a warm up before your workout will allow for you to engage more muscles during the exercises.  On the days you do not exercise, do it early in the morning to get your day started because that is when the muscles in your body are “achy” and need a good warm up to get going.

    Tennis Ball Magic!

    Fascia release can be accomplished in many ways with a number of different products.  One of the best tools for fascia release is using a simple tennis ball.  There are other products to use but a tennis ball is pin point and accurate.  Depending on where the tightness is at, there are a number of exercises that must be done in a sequence leading up to the area of tightness in order to make sure your body isn’t compensating anywhere else.  Just because the pain is in a certain area, that doesn’t mean that is the cause of the pain.  Our bodies will compensate and the cause for the pain will be coming from a different area.  So if your low back is tight, we would give you exercises that start all the way at the bottom of the foot then work on the calf, the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and finally the low back.

    Another reason why we like to work with the tennis ball is because you can take it with you anywhere you go.  So don’t make any excuses on why you cannot do these simple but affective exercises.  For more information please get a hold of either Juan Guerrero or Lisa Wright at YPB Training Studio.

    Fascia 3

    Resources:

    Ganfiled, Lisa. “Myofascial Therapy for the Treatment of Acute and Chronic Pain.” Spine-health. 20 Feb. 2007. Web. 3 Dec. 2014. <http://www.spine-health.com/treatment/physical-therapy/myofascial-therapy-treatment-acute-and-chronic-pain>.

    Vogel, Adam. “Beginner’s Guide to Self Myofascial Release.” Pure Performance Training. Web. 3 Dec. 2014. <http://www.pureperformancetraining.com/blog/a-beginner039s-guide-to-selfmyofascial-release>.


  6. What is the best way to lose fat?

    ypb trainersThe simple (and complex) answer is that there is no “best way” to lose fat. Each client will respond differently to our training programs. However, there are some principles that we, as fitness professionals, can apply when designing our clients’ programs.

    Here’s what Jason Karp, PHD has to say. “Activities that incorporate many muscle groups and are weight bearing use more calories per minute and are therefore better suited for fat loss than non-weight-bearing activities that do not use many muscles.

    It is often assumed that low-intensity exercise is best for burning fat. During exercise at a very low intensity, fat does account for most of the energy expenditure, while at a moderate intensity, fat accounts for only about 50 percent of the energy used. However, since the number of calories used per minute is much greater at a moderate to high intensity than at a low intensity, the total number of calories expended during a moderate- to high-intensity workout is greater than it is during a low- intensity workout of the same duration; consequently, the total number of fat calories expended is also greater during the higher-intensity workout. The rate of energy expenditure, rather than simply the percentage of energy expenditure derived from fat, is important in determining the exercise intensity that will use the most fat. Furthermore, endurance-trained individuals rely less on carbohydrates and more on fat as a fuel source during submaximal exercise (Kiens 1997). Thus, the more aerobically trained your clients become, the more fat they will use during subsequent exercise sessions.

    To decrease body fat percentage, your clients do not necessarily have to use fat during exercise. Much of the fat from adipose tissue (as opposed to intramuscular fat, which is primarily used during exercise) is lost in the hours following exercise. Moreover, the amount of fat lost after a workout depends, in part, on the exercise intensity during the workout. Following high-intensity exercise, the rate of fat oxidation is higher than it is following low-intensity exercise (Mulla et al. 2000; Phelain et al. 1997). Because clients can perform a greater intensity of work if the work is broken up with periods of rest, interval training is a great way to perform high-intensity work and help decrease body fat percentage.

    Both strength training and endurance exercise have been shown to decrease body fat percentage. However, aerobic exercise appears to have a greater impact on fat loss than does strength training (Ballor et al. 1996; Dolezal & Potteiger 1998; LeMura et al. 2000). A combination of endurance and strength training results in more fat loss than either exercise regimen alone (Dolezal & Potteiger 1998), possibly because clients who perform both activities spend more time exercising.”

    Read the entire article here http://goo.gl/w4dkoM


  7. All I Want For Christmas: 80 Healthy Gift Ideas

    Want to give the gift of health this year? I’ve  assembled 80 Healthy Gift Ideas so you, your friends and family can enjoy the benefits of feeling better, having more energy and looking great too!

     EAT

    Blender/magic bullet
    Water bottles (with built-in filter, stainless steel)
    Tea set (with variety of teas)
    Tea of the month club membership
    Healthy Cooking classes
    Fresh Fruit baskets http://goo.gl/zsPcbS

    You have to eat right to think right. Why would you give the people you love foods like chocolate,
    cookies, and cakes that work on the heroin centers in the brain and lower brain function? If you love
    your friends, shower them with some of the 50 best brain foods like apples, oranges, and peaches.

    10 spiceHealthy Cookbooks like Eating for Life by Bill Philips
    Food steamer
    Food blender (to make protein shakes)
    Protein Powder by the Tub
    Lunch bag/cooler
    Food scale
    Brain Healthy Spices ($3 and up)

    For the cooks on your list, spice up their life with a gift of brain healthy spices. Buy in bulk at InternationalSpices.com to save.

    A good set of Knives and a Sharpening Steel
    3 – 4 Paring Knives
    Stainless Steel Measuring Cups and/or Spoons
    3 – 4 Vegetable Peelers – they always wear out
    Good “COTTON” Kitchen Towels and Wash Cloths
    2 –3 Cutting Boards

    Wood is nice but plastic is practical. They fit in most dishwashers.
    Blue for fish, Yellow for Poultry, Green for Produce, Red for Meats and White for Baking

    A “FAT” separator for stocks, sauces and gravies
    A Citrus Zester
    3 –4 Heat Resistant Rubber Spatulas
    A set of Stainless Steel Bowls
    A roll of Parchment Paper
    2 – 3 Stainless Steel Baking Sheet Pans
    A pair of Kitchen Scissors
    A Good Thermometer
    3 – 4 “HEAVY” Wooden Spoons
    Vacuum Food Saver
    Food processor
    Table Top Mixer
    Tupperware
    2 Silpat Baking Mats http://goo.gl/RMJFoa
    Electric Pepper Grinder
    Electric Knife Sharpener
    Rice Cooker
    Stainless Steel Pots
    Tephlon Coated Egg Pan
    Gift certificates to healthy restaurants (Jason’s Deli, etc…)

    MOVE

    Exercise mat
    Pedometer
    Gym towel and water bottles (customized with initials)
    Personal training sessions http://ypbtrainingstudio.com/
    Fitness bag
    white waterRunning/training shoes — Sneaker-free running shoes are popular now! http://goo.gl/2DJtt3
    Series of lessons/classes (Pilates/Ballroom Dance)
    Gym, health club, YMCA membership
    DVDs – Exercise (i.e. P90X) http://goo.gl/wJFuxt
    Dumb bell weight set
    Pull-up bar
    Treadmill http://hestfitness.com/
    Stationary Bicycle
    Road or Mountain Bicycle http://bayareabicyclescctx.com/
    In-line Skates
    Go for a hike (trip to Grand Canyon or other scenic, memorable locale)
    Jump rope
    Foam roller
    Workout clothes
    Heart rate monitors (We like the FT1)
    Fitbit, Bodybugg or other monitoring device
    Table Tennis Table ($280 and up)

    Table tennis is the world’s best brain sport. Give your family the gift of better brain health and better physical health with a ping pong table. In addition to being one of the best brain boosters around, it is a lot of fun and will also provide you with more time together as a family.

    THINK

    Video games for the wii/xbox that promote healthy active lifestyles (wii tennis/ wii fitness, etc.)
    Subscription to health, fitness, nutritional magazine(s)
    Books — Inspirational, Educational, Cookbooks, Spiritual
    Books like: Younger Next Year by Chris Crowly
    Food journal and a nice pen set
    Relaxation/meditation/prayer CDs
    The Sharper Image® SleepSounds™ Music and Alarm Pillow ($69.99)

    Getting at least seven hours of restful sleep each night is critical to brain performance. This pillow includes a built-in speaker so you can listen to soothing nature sounds to help you drift off to sleep.

    Ultimate Ball Juggling Combo ($29.99)

    Learning new skills helps keep your brain young. Learning to juggle, in particular, fuels brain cell growth and enhances the areas of your brain that control memory, language, and reading. Perfect for beginners of all ages, this juggling set includes an instructional video and three beanbags — beanbags are recommended for beginners since they are easier to juggle than balls.

    HEAL

    Christian music CDs or other Soothing Music
    iTunes gift card for music purchases
    Mobile music player (mp3 player/iPod) & Headphones
    Purifying natural beauty cosmetics/soaps/products
    Spa treatment (massage, other)
    Acupressure mat
    Green personal care/home products
    Massage Oils ($8.49)

    Having a close, loving relationship with your spouse releases feel-good chemicals in the brain and promotes better health. A massage is always a welcome gift that brings you and your beloved closer together. Surprise your sweetie with these natural aromatherapy massage oils that contain antioxidants and pure herbal extracts.

    OTHER

    Home-made coupons for time together, massage, date nights, home-made dinner, a kiss, hall pass for free time etc.
    Jewelry that has meaning like a cross necklace, or leather bracelet with a motivational saying
    The Bible! Next to salvation, this is probably the best gift you can give or receive!

     

    More ideas at: http://www.gifts.com/recipient/woman/fitness-health-nut/yuPBkJ?mode=24&page=0


  8. November Thoughts & 3 Week Extras

    3 Week Extras -

    Perform 100 rope jumps during 2 minutes of your usual “rest” time.  Add a penalty of 3 rope jumps for each rope jump shorted (if any) – AFTER the workout. IOW (In Other Words), if you only get 50 of the prescribed 100, you are to add 150 rope jumps after the workout.

    General Thoughts for November:

    CaptureWe’ve only a few weeks until the holiday season tries to take over our life. From this moment until about the week of Thanksgiving you’ll have a chance to off-set some of your “cheat” eating. But you MUST focus.

    We challenge you to give some deliberate effort to your nutrition and exercise for the next 3 weeks. We’ll help you! Starts to focus today!

    TODAY, we challenge you to:

    1. Clean up your worst meal. If you “cheat” eat at dinner – STOP cheating! Stop it NOW! Choose a “healthy meal” that you know will serve you. Here are some ideas on meals (from breakfast to dinner selections). Plan your meals ahead. If you blow it and don’t eat the “healthy meal” you intended to eat, make a rule right now that you can only eat a single protein bar or shake for that meal NEXT time. That’s it, NOTHING else!  Drink all the water you need.

    2. Do the 3 week extras. For the next 3 weeks we’ll post some extras on our Facebook site for you to do. These will be aimed toward increasing your over-all fitness.

    3. POST your comments! Let’s try this. We are more successful with community support. Community cannot happen without communication. If you accept our challenges, please indicate that you are out there daily. Just add a little comment of accountability, or of encouragement, or of whatever you feel would add to the collective community in positive ways.

    We’ll see you at the studio and/or in the comments!

     


  9. Are You Afraid to Squat?

    I am often told, “Squatting hurts my knees” and yet, we can’t avoid this fundamental human movement. Think of how many times you do these movements during the day.

    • squatGet up from a chair, couch or the potty
    • Pick something up off the ground
    • Get out of a car
    • Get out of bed

    Being able to do this motion is quite important for quality of life and independence as you age. This is why I regularly have my clients practice squatting. When done repeatedly, it’s a great strengthening exercise that uses the larger muscles in the legs.

    Aging client is practicing squatting facing the wall. Sometimes I put a chair behind the person if they feel that they might go backwards. This awkward way to squat REALLY takes care of the knees and teaches the person to push their rear end back keeping the knees in proper alignment over their toes.

    Listed below are a few other common mistakes people make when squatting:

    Common Squatting Mistakes Explained

    Bringing Knees Together
    Knees should line up between the hip and foot when viewed from the front. As you start moving upward, try not to let your knees come together

    Favoring One Leg
    Try not to shift your weight when you are squatting. You should feel like you have equal pressure on both feet and feel the muscles of both legs doing an equal amount of work.

    Many of you have had an injury or surgery on a hip, knee, or ankle. While the bad leg was healing, you shifted more of the workload onto the good leg. Unfortunately, this pattern became so engrained that you continue to squat this way even after your injured leg has healed.

    If you continue to do this, you’re always going to have one leg that’s weaker.

    Looking at the Floor
    I tell my clients, “You are going to GO the direction you are looking!”

    When getting out of a chair, pick a spot out in front of you that is about four or five feet high and fix your eyes on it as you get up. Looking forward in this manner will ensure that your head is up and your body goes the direction you intended.

    Feet Too Close Together
    Wider legs are more stable. Get your feet at least ten inches apart before you try to stand up. This is a simple fix and will result in much greater stability.

    Plopping Down
    When you are squatting for exercise, remember that you are strengthening your muscles both on the way up as you move against gravity, and on the way down, as you try to control your descent. Gravity wants to pull you down into that chair and make you PLOP.

    Other Tips
    You may already be too weak in the legs to do the squat correctly from a chair. You can still improve your leg strength over time. Try the squat from your bed; it may be higher than most chairs.

    Action Plan
    To strengthen your legs using the squat, you can do 1 or 2 sets of 8-15 squats 2 or 3 times per week. Become aware of your squat form every time you get up from that chair!

    Yours in Health and Fitness,

    Lisa Wright – ISSA Fitness Professional
    Your Personal Best Training Studio
    www.ypbtrainingstudio.com
    Owner/Director of Operations
    361-549-4604

     

    PS For more info visit this link http://www.seniorexercisesonline.com/how-to-squat.html


  10. The Inchworm!

    Ever wonder where we get some of our exercises?  The inchworm is an imitation of an actual worm moving up and down from point A to point B on a flat surface.  This exercise is great because it involves your full body and requires no gym equipment.  It’s good for your arms, core, chest, back and even adds some flexibility for your legs.

    INCHWORMHere are the 5 easy steps to perform the inchworm:

    • First align yourself with your feet hip with apart and palms by your side.
    • Hinge forward at the waist and put your palms on the ground close to your toes while keeping your legs as straight as possible. You can bend your knees if you have to.
    • Slowly start to walk your hands forward until all of your weight is on your hands and toes. At this point, you should be in a pushup position and your hands should be right under your shoulders with your body in a straight line.
    • Hold this position for a few seconds, then start to walk your hands back towards your toes slowly.
    • Once you have reached a point where you feel you can’t walk your hands any closer, then stand back up. You have now completed one full inchworm!

    Focus on keeping your core in tight and not round your back or rotate your core.  Instead, bend at the knees to relieve some of that pressure.  Remember that this exercise is not a race and technique is key in performing this exercise successfully.


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